U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist is condemning Gov. Ron DeSantis’ recently announced proposal to make sweeping changes to Florida’s election laws.
The Governor announced the proposed measures Friday, which included everything from drop box watchers to election observers and more, in an effort he believes would increase election security.
Crist called the proposed election changes a form of voter suppression.
“Florida’s 2020 election was historic — record-breaking turnout and virtually no issues,” Crist said in a statement. “It was by all accounts a success, and we should be building on it by making it easier for Floridians to make their voices heard — not harder.”
Some measures put forward by the Governor Friday included establishing a law against mailing unsolicited ballots, as well as strengthening the signature verification process. It should be noted current Florida law only allows elections offices to mail absentee ballots to voters upon their requests.
The Governor also questioned the need for copious amounts of drop boxes scattered around rural parts of the state, and advocated for 24/7 drop box watchers to prevent people from “harvesting and destroying ballots.”
“Governor DeSantis’ proposal goes in the wrong direction, it’s a nakedly partisan political play,” Crist said in a statement. “It shouldn’t become law, and if we had a fully functioning Voting Rights Act, it would be thrown out. And on that score, Congress should pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act as soon as possible. Our leaders should be working for the people, not their own partisan political interests.”
Crist also added that the proposal put forth by DeSantis addresses many of the false election claims propagated by former President Donald Trump following his loss in the 2020 presidential election.
The Congressman argued the measures would make it more difficult to vote by mail, attack safe and convenient ballot drop boxes, target nonpartisan voter participation programs and double down on “what does not work” in Florida’s signature matching program.
New DeSantis proposal is voter suppression, plain and simple. You can't fix problems that do not exist. Floridians deserve the right to safe and fair elections that work #ForThePeople, not AGAINST them. pic.twitter.com/25n7kC9NFO
— Congressman Charlie Crist (@RepCharlieCrist) February 20, 2021
Crist’s criticism of DeSantis comes amid talks of the Democrat as a potential gubernatorial candidate next year. While the Congressman has not made any clear decisions yet, he has said he is not ruling out challenging DeSantis next year. Crist formerly served as the Governor from 2007 to 2011 as a Republican.